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Tom Allen Education. (2013) 'Dangerous Convictions What's Really Wrong With the U.S. Congress.'

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Iraq 14, Us 6, Washington 5, U.s. 4, Leavenworth 4, Petraeus 3, Gingrich 3, Obama 3, Rick Perry 2, Donald Rumsfeld 2, Bush 2, David Brooks 2, United States 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, George Bush 2, Jimmy Carter 2, China 2, California 2, America 2, Fannie 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Tom Allen  Education.  (2013) 'Dangerous  
   Convictions What's Really Wrong With the U.S. Congress.'  

    February 17, 2013
    3:30 - 4:45pm EST  

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happen and when they don't happen, they lose face, and then they have to do something to make it happen so that they don't lose face. let face it. he had a bird's nest on the ground. he had everything going for him. and he wasn't about to give that up. one of the situations i was concern about, that i had seen happen with similar groups in the past, was that he would need to do something in order to bring about his prophecy of this armageddon where law enforcement would attack the compound and they would die and they would be resurrected and he would be the good jesus at that point and they'd be living in the garden of eden. >> part of a three-day president's day weekend, monday night, at 8:00. on c-span2 3's american history tv.
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>> you're watching book tv on c-span.
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>> now, tom allen, former six-term democratic congressmann front mississippi, recounsels his inability to understand his republican colleagues and vice versa and contends congress will remain lock logjammed until the try to understand each oomph this is just over an hour. [applause] >> thank you very much for those kind words, and thank you all for being here tonight. this is a wonderful crowd, and i'm very pleased to see so many of you here. i have to say it's a special pleasure for me to be at the jimmy carter library because my late father was one of those very early in the carter presidential campaign who went to hear this governor, former governor from georgia, was very impressed, wrote some sort of check, and became a big fan of jimmy carter throughout his career. and i wish my father could see
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me now because i know he would be excited. but it is -- so i thank you for that. i also want to say that this is an opportunity to discuss the things we have been through as a country over the last few years and to try to energy out what's gone wrong and how we can make it right. that's a conversation that really the more people involved in it, the better off we really are. first thing i will say about dangerous convictions, is to give you a sense of why i wrote it. someone said that you write to scratch an inch or deal with something that is bothering you, and that is the case with this book. and i would say, first of all, there is -- this may come as no surprise to you -- a real frustration with how the media, the mainstream media, and the partisan media, covers what politicians do in congress.
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a lot of frustration that you simply can't say completely what you want to say, even about what the problems are or what you're trying to do. and the second thing is that there is -- it was in my case -- considerable confusion about my republican colleagues. and so what -- confusion about what they were really thinking. so, i spent the better part of four years thinking and writing about revising this book. i do, as tony said, work for the association of american publishers and i have to say, being an an advocate for the publishing industry, being an author has given me another -- an inside look at that industry, and i have to say how grateful i am to oxford university press, through it incredible team of people who helped make this book better than when i delivered it
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to them. so, i'm going to read a few selections from the book and then walk you through the chapters, a few of them, not in too much detail. and then i want to conclude by some comments on the presidential election. i'm going to begin first of all -- if i get this right -- by explaining the title. tony, if this would only work. i can do without it. if there's some way to make it work for later on, that would be good. >> the title "dangerous convictions" comes from a statement by niche, who wrote, convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. now, we all want people elected
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to be people of conviction. right? don't we? the trouble is that sometimes people hold convictions that are not supported by the weight of evidence or expertise. and when that happens, let's just say life gets very, very complicated. and so here's how i began. this is from the introduction. i'll read a little bit here and then jump ahead slightly. do these guys believe what they're saying? sitting in the chamber of the u.s. house of representatives, listening to a heated debate, we ask that question about our republican colleagues. we usually thought the answer was, no. but if so, they were phenomenally good actors. their argumented made no sense to us. such well-worn phrases as tax cuts pay for themselves, will we'll be welcomed as libattors, climb change is improving and
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government-run health care doesn't work, were repeated over and over again republican arguments seem as incomprehensible to democrats were as much misguided to them. the free market principles they took as given conflicted with the information we took every day from our constituents and the economists we consulted. news speed media preoccupation with lack of civility missed the point. i traveled withcongressional members to afghan and enjoyed they're company. we worked out together in the house gym. still more socializing with each other would not have breached khasm. congress is crippled from making bipartisan, strategic, public
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policy decisions. this is our greatest institutional weakness and defies simplistic cures. congress today is deeply divided because to each side, the opinions of the other make no sense. and, therefore, cannot be honestly held. interest group politics is still with us. fueled by unprecedented amounts of money, but its overlaid and often dominated by what i can only call world view politics, a clash of values values and convs much deeper than the competition of interest groups in washington. we need a new perspective to visualize congressional polarization. the media and political commentators tiply bemoan the wide gap between right and left. but republicans and democrats speak past each other not because they're too far apart on the left-right spectrum, but
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because they operate on different planes, higher and lower, by ground confined by evidence and expertise and that's something that has changed significantly in the last 20 years. when i came to congress in 1996, the phrase i kept hearing from the other side was, family values. and you can kind of -- we all had a sense that probably -- a varied sense what that means. you don't hear that phrase anymore. what you hear in its place is republican principles, and it turns out that there is really one fundamentally important republican principle and that is smaller government and lower taxes. think that's one, not two. at it really one. and that turns out to be much more difficult to deal with than the baker notion of family values. what i tried to do in this book is pick topics to consider that are not those that are like
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abortion, gay marriage, even immigration. those things that are so deeply buried in our sort of fundamental attitudes towards the world that you would expect them to be very, very difficult. so what i did was to pick -- i tried to pick four topics, four substantive topics where, in the past, we used to be able to compromise differences across the aisle. not always easily. don't get me wrong. that was the federal budget, iraq, health care, and climate change. so, what i would like to do now is to run through the first of those sectors. i served on the budget committee for now years, over the last four years i was in congress. and paul ryan was on the committee then. we invited economists to come in, and there was this -- the
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sameness to our conversations all the time. the republicans would repeat over and over again, tax cuts pay for themselves, or if they step become from that a little bit, they would say, tax cuts pay for themselves, or at least you don't have to really think too hard about the reduction in revenue. and yet at the same time we all read about the first bush tax cut, designed to be a $1.6 trillion tax cut. the reason it was described as a $1.6 trillion tax cut was because it reduced revenues by $1.6 trillion, or was expected to. and so we'd be listening to people talking about tax cuts pay for themes and you pick up the paper or look at materials from the congressional budget office and they would say this tax cut is going to reduce federal revenues bit 1.6 trillion over ten years or 1.35 trim.
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these views made no sense. these kinds of statements put side-by-side. they made no sense. at it crazy for those of us who still believe the cbo. but for the republicans, most of them, they didn't believe the cbo numbers were right because they were mostly supply-siders, where the assumption is that if you reduce tax cuts it will stimulate the economy so much that it will actually come close to, if not actually increase, federal revenues. but when we heard that, it made no sense. now, here's where it really gets -- i think in some ways even worse. i'm going to find -- i have to say, mitch mcconnell does provide me with a lot of material. [laughter] >> in 2010, the two big tax cuts were '01 and '03.
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in 2010, mitch -- at a time when it was pretty clear that the first decade would yield revenue reductions on the scale of somewhere between 2 and $3 trillion over the first ten years. mitch mcconnell said to the press, july 2010, he confirmed the next day that what john -- senator john kyl said a few days earlier was accurate. mcconnell said there's no evidence whatsoever that the bush tax cuts actually dim minimum issued revenue. they increased revenue because of the vibe bran si of the tax cuts and the economy. so i think what senator kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every republican on that subject. and i would say, as they say here, this is no kind word for -- you can say in response to this. they're making this up. they have to be making this up.
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but do they believe it? i think they do. i mean, the truth is, i think they do. i think one of the things in the last two chapters i spent some time with is a lot of the recent research about how we think or don't think about religion and politics, and how so many of the views that we believe are carefully roped -- reasoned and thought out, are grounded in deeper attitudes, deeper values, deeper life experience-what i call world views, that really shape our more specific beliefs both in religion and in politics. so, i'm not going to do too much of this but i want to show you one of the charts. i don't try in this back to make an elaborate case for everything
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i say. i try paint a blood landscape why the population and congress is for alreadyized and why that it that leads to congressional gridlock. let me do this first. this chart has been called sort of the essential chart for understanding the consequences that our budget conundrum. it shows in may 2011 -- doesn't by the senate for budget policies and priorities based on cbo numbers. this shows the parts of the annual deficits that are due to the wars in iraq and afghanistan, and the bush era tax cuts, recovery measures -- that means primarily the bush stimulus and the obama stimulus programs -- t.a.r.p., fannie and freddie, and the economic downturn. in the book these -- this isn't
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in color but you can make it out. you sook see from where we are today in 2013, at the time this was put together, the single biggest factor in the annual deficits that we will experience over the next several years was not from the economic slow down but was because of the revenues that were taken away by the bush tax cuts. now, we all know now, because of the legislation that was just passed, some portion of that tax revenue that is shown as this chart as being lost, will be recovered because at least for upper income taxpayers they're going to go back to clinton era tax rates. but the point i'm trying to make with this one chart is to say, this is the real world, and the idea that tax cuts pay for themselves is not the real world. and when one side believes one thing and one side believes the other, there's not much room for consequence. i will come back to why and this
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should be part of how you think about this stuff. why is it that the two sides believe such different things? why does one depend on defend -- evidence and the other on broad principles about the size of government individual accomplish so forth and so on. so let me -- i want to go back to that. and let me move on to the experience with iraq. i'm sure you all understand -- and i think most people would agree -- the signature issues for the bush administration, the ones that had the most consequence and the ones that will shape the bush administration's place in history -- were, one, the tax cuts, and, two, the invasion of iraq. so you can imagine how difficult these decisions were, and with respect to iraq, before going in
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and committing all those troops and hundreds of billions of dollars, you can imagine that it took a lot of meetings to decide whether or not to make that decision and if so, how you would do it, and -- because that's the way it is. you could imagine those meetings, of the national security council and bush's inner circle, the war council. you can national those meetings but there was not a single meeting held by the national security council or bush's top people about whether or not to invade iraq. not one. not one. and what that tells you is the evidence, the detail -- the circumstances in iraq, what would happen -- what the consequences would be of putting in 150,000 american troops -- should have been more -- what that -- that was not taken into account. second thing that is interesting, is that donald
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rumsfeld believed that you go in, you take over baghdad, and you pull out. because -- and this came out in report written four years later -- came out because donald rumsfeld gave a speech in february, just before the invasion, said we have to good in and pull our troops out and leave the iraqis to their own devices, essentially, because otherwise we will create a dependency among the iraqis. think about the phrase, culture of dependencies. it came up with the clinton administration with welfare reform, but to understand where republicans are coming to, at least the run are republicans in congress these days, it's important to understand how real, how important it is that their views, that government infringes on personal liberty almost no matter what it expose that it fosters dependency among
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the population. but those convictions, those views, were an obstacle, even to having a conversation between asset of state and the secretary of defense under george bush, a real conversation about whether or not the invasion in iraq should take place or the country should do more by way of sanctions and other forms of pressure. the interesting thing to me about what happened in iraq, here's something i got completely wrong. when the president in december of '06 basically asked -- he lost control of congress, decided to do a surge in iraq, people like me thought, well, this is stupid. iraq is going really badly. really, really badly. this is just an effort to delay the day of reckoning. we have to have a different strategy. what i didn't know then, a lot of people, is the surge was not
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just an increase in the number of troops. it was a different strategy. and what is fascinating about this -- it was called -- see the book by tom rex called the gamble if you want to learn more about it. three people, retired general named jackkeep, ray ordinary llano in faint the number two in the ire, aty and david petraeus decided the strategy of protecting american troops in these large -- not bunkers but large compounds -- was not working at all and they had to be out among the people. they had to defend the civilian populations, and so the surge involved that transformation, and the truth is it -- if it wasn't the whole reason we would gain ground later in 2007, it was an important part of the reason. it was an evidence-based
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strategy. it was an evidence-based strategy. and i think, and i describe in here, why it was so different from the original strategy. what petraeus and jack keene cooked up was a real counterinsurgency strategy like petraeus had done before and i think that's why -- one of the reasons why it got turned around. >> let me step forward quickly to health care. the interesting think doing interesting thing to me -- several interesting things. let's talk about obamacare for a minute. incredibly controversial. passed without one single democratic vote in the house and senate. what its origins? lots of people in the course of argue about this, well, mitt romney did something like that in massachusetts. but you can go back farther, go back to 1989, stewart butler, at
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the heritage foundation, came up with something called the heritage plan, and what did the heritage plan include? it included regulated exchanges in which private insurance company would compete for beneficiaries, and it included an individual man deat. -- mandate. it was actually for more than a decade, primarily a republican idea about how you could do, quote, universal health care. but the mid-part of the -- 2005 or so, democrats were getting more interested. republicans were falling away, and i think that is the republican universal health care plan but by the time it cape um, obama was for it and no republicans were for it. and even olympia snow in our state, who made a real effort to work on a compromise position,
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eventually bailed out, i income part because of the pressure to conform was so great. >> as you remember, repeal and replace? repeal and replace. that was the mantra after it passed on the republican side. why didn't we ever see a plan to replace? obama karr? -- obamacare? really because it involved government action on a scale that the republicans could not accept. and this gets back to what i was saying earlier. for many of them, this is not about trying to figure out how to serve -- how to have health care. what they're worried about is this feeling that government infringes on personal liberties and creates dep dependence on the population and everything we do is to be resist is, and that
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is why the capacity to try to cross the aisle is so difficult because we are basically talking about individuals in very different world views. now, i want to go to chapter five, which is climate change. denial of public denial as public policy. here's one of the clearest cases. scientific evidence that the earth its warming, carbon emissions are the primary cause and, three, we're face something catastrophic consequences and expenses down the road if we don't deal with it. so, why do we have such trouble even admitting it? and i would say -- here's the basic background. basic background, this -- the red line is might migrating to
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the right-hand since the late 1950s and the volume cape know in hawaii, they have been taking atmospheric measurements of carbon dioxide concentration and it goes up and down every year, based on the seasons, but that trend line never changes course. it just goes up and up and up. what at lot of people don't realize is a lot of the carbon dioxide, bat third, is getting absorbed by the oceans, and about a third, and when it gets into the ocean, it turns into carbonic acid. so the oceans today are becoming more acidic at a rate faster than any time in the last 50 to 100 million years. and that lower line, that green line, that bounces up and down, too but that's the measurement of the ph at the station called the aloha,; this is one of the
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greatest threats from climate change. the more acidic the ocean water the more likely it is to destroy, or prevent from growing, tiny organisms at the bottom of the food chain in the ocean, and if you kill off the bottom of the food chain, the consequences are incredibly alarming. one of the things i did in congress was to develop the bill and -- that would emphasize doing much more research on the ocean acid identifying. and the bill died until after the 2008 election when obama took office and put that part of that program into the stimulus package. and so now we're finally trying
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to get information on how that -- what the consequences will be, and there is, i would say, a lot we don't know. the last two chapters in the book are really about what i mentioned before briefly. we think about politics as if we were reasoning at all times. but in truth, there is this huge gap in the way people think about politics and how they form their political and religious views, and let me just read a couple of paragraphs here i think will help shed somelight. some light. democrats see republicans as against evidence and expertise, up concerned about americans struggling to get by and opposed to government action to deal with our collective challenges. on the other hand, republicans
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see democrats as the party of a government that routinely ininfringes on permanent freedom, creators of the culture of dough pendency among people who should stand on their own and has promoted the change from traditional values that will leave us weaker than before. these different perspectives drive congressional debates far more than the immediate subject before the house on any given day. above all, the abiding clash between the view of government as a vehicle for the common good, and the view of government as an obstacle to progress and personal freedom, sits close to the center of our ideological gridlock. that's why i believe congress is best, whichized as a forum for into group politics over laid by world view politics and that's the later which contributes to the institution. a couple more comments and then i'm going to say just a few
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words about the -- two brief readings here and then i'm going to turn to the 2012 election. despite the coverage of congress, most supporting and commentary that -- as the result, the diagnosis is often incivility. ...
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spouses and children are less willing to be uprooted from their jobs, schools and friends to come to washington although the relationships help the members work together and they cannot be fostered by the return to the living in a commanding patterns and reviving greater mutual understanding would have to be a deliberate undertaking of those willing to reach out to read now, i'm going to -- i said to someone before this began the hardest part of this trying to figure out riding the last chapter, where do we go from here, but in my work through looking through the issues that confronted us, there are four
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areas where i think -- and these are just ideas and attitudes -- there are ideas we are deficient. we are deficient in these areas the way the media covers politics and also from what i called a radical individuals and that for some republicans it truly has taken over -- i've got to go back to this quickly. this is part of the conversation about -- this is about a study, a group of people like george washington and george mason did a study called six americans and unlike the conventional poll they were basically on how they felt about climate change and what other activities but
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basically how engaged they were who, so the groups that they chose for the people who were most concerned. the concern, the cautious, the disengaged, the doubtful and that is massive. this chart is a measure of which of those groups are most engaged in political activity. this is a picture of polarization in america. on the left-hand side they make up 18% of the population. 95% of them say in response to the question there is no way they are going to change their views the climate change is a major threat in the danger and needs to be taken seriously. on the other side you've got the dismissive and the doubtful. to put them together they are
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18%. they are the most active groups in the communities. 90% of those people would say there's no way they are going to change their view, climate change is a hoax, it will never cause any problems it's part of the natural cycle of things. the truth is it would be impossible almost by proving scientific evidence with they believe is not true because they are so determined in their belief because the consequence of the leaving of the alternative means the government would have to take a larger role with leadership and certainly other respects as well to deal with this problem if it is a problem so that reason why it's
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so hard for some people to believe climate change is a serious problem because if they admit that then what their whole view of government is and what it means to our individual alliance vanishes. i've talked coming back now this is what is wrong with the way the media covers politics and with the way we think about politics, respect for evidence. how often have you heard reporter say what is your evidence to that? let me tell you, not nearly enough. the reporter would call and say question for you. she would ask me the question and after one answer would say i
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guess that's all i have. i knew the story was completely written except for one thing he put in the quote and was gone. it's that kind of coverage that is difficult. we have the deeply partisan media and the mainstream but the mainstream media except for public television i think and public radio don't give enough time to a lot of the topics to really inform people in the there are others such as the ambiguity. here is an example the struck me during the campaign. you've remembered rick perry. he came on and was looking like a good candidate for the republican side and then he stood up and was asked the three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate and then he couldn't
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remember one of them and he wound up saying oops and that was in the news for a week 24/7. what is this going to do for his campaign? he doesn't know what he's talking about. well, i had never heard anybody say suppose you eliminate the department of commerce. four to $5 billion in the department of commerce is noah that provides virtually all of our weather information, every satellite tracking what's going on to some extent, what do you do with the four to $5 billion? i know now because of the work we do in the book publishing industry they are over there in china trying to make sure the chinese government understands when we sell books and bring
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books to china they are going to do everything they can to make sure they are not being piloted and copied and sold somewhere else. the department of energy was one of those. the department of energy regulates oil and gas drilling so if you eliminate the department, what happens to redefault percent of the case through 12 educational system eliminates the department of education what happens? those were the questions that should have been asked of rick perry because those were the questions that might break through the difference is other people have as to whether or not the federal government is too big we have to eliminate the problem and those say we have a way in education but it is really quite important.
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caring about consequences. what i mean it's more about health care than anything else is 50 million people uninsured not to come up with a plan to deal with that seems to be an unbelievable acceptance of a condition that once you understand what it means for people in the society not on health care to go bankrupt but they would often drop out of college once you understand that you really need to do something about that particular program. they are together what he was trying to do was trying to figure out how to set up a set of institutions that will
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encourage people not just to act as their own individual interests, but what he called the permanent and aggregate common good. but if we don't even try to figure out how to share in the common good we are i think in trouble. i was fascinated by the reaction of some of the commentators on a couple columnists from the "washington post" had a pedestrian speech and i thought it was great and i read david
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brooks in "the new york times" was fascinated. you can gather from now that american politics is about me and we. we have a war on our most fundamental values each claiming one half of the american psyche that is one of the best inaugurals in the last 50 years. why it fell short because it
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didn't mention will st. states feed menlo park, all those places that created ingenuity have gone forth in a way that i couldn't have been other countries and it was all about me and verses we. what we need in the society in this moment in time is to understand what ever camp we are in we need to understand the deep reasons why for some americans self-reliance, individualism, fear of dependency is so real pecan touch and feel that and if we are on the other side and you are in that camp i would ask and hope more people would say to themselves this is the 21st century not the 19th. the challenges we face are so
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complicated they are not even national challenges. climate change the health of the population has a lot to do with the health of our economy. the quality of american society has a lot to do with our capacity for future economic growth and we have to get this right. what i hope for this book is although it is a democrat in congress im -- it is of the ideas that separate us and which if balanced would bring us back together. with that i'm going to stop and say thank you and appreciate the chance to be with you. [applause] >> let's take about ten or 15 minutes' worth of questions. if you have a question raised
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your hand and they will bring in microphone over to you. please wait until the microphone is in front of you. first question, question right here. >> i'm curious in your perspective why is it we complain about congress that so many congressmen get reelected? the second thing i'm curious more on your personal perspective you've been on the inner sanctum, the holy grail of the political system. now that you are on the outside what is one thing that we've the people, the public don't get from your side of being a politically elected official? >> first the question is how do members of congress get reelected when the police is such a mess, if i can we interpret what you are saying. i told many people that during
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the years i was in congress, i am relatively certain i shook more hands of the 650,000 people in my district than any other human being. you get to know people and if you listen to them and -- it is an overwhelming job. first of all is a 24/7 our job and it -- most don't work saturdays or seven days and that one did. you get to know so many people and to the extent that you are listening in the least trying to appreciate what they are going through, that personal connection will carry you no matter which side of the health you are on and i think that is the primary reason. i think from the inside i believe members on both sides of the ll come with a vision of what they want to accomplish and
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they all are frustrated. i don't care which side of because it is hard to realize your dreams for what he would like to accomplish for your constituents when remember the comic strip will remember we've met the enemy and he is us and i think to a large extent the public has demands on congress but incompatible. the most fundamental of which is this. when i was elected to the city council i went to a city manager and i talked to them about how he secures your job we have a capital improvements plan, and
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the things we have to do over the next ten years will cost so many of millions of dollars. he said here's the problem the public collectively isn't willing to pay for with public collectively wants and it's true, it's even true in congress of. the expectation is when there can be current or more service delivered in an efficient and professional way for less money and the math doesn't work. you can do more with less once in awhile, but year after year after year you can't and i think that is the most difficult thing for people to understand. that's why you'll get the gatt i put out with the vast amount trained by the bush tax cut some of it has gone down but only some of it because by and large
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the american people don't want more money spent on taxes but the price that is being paid for that isn't so much an individual price. it's more a price that involves the overall health of the population and the overall education level. but it's bigger and broader than any individual can take into account. it's just hard to understand >> how about over here? >> what do you see when one political party actually wants to wreck the government and there's a book called the wrecking crew that builds on that theme but i don't see any possibility of compromise anymore. >> the great thing about the political system is there are
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elections, and i believe the republican party has a long historic and important role to play in the society. if it didn't exist, it would have to be created. it would have to be a party that is more pro-business than they've been in the past and yet there has to be a party that is skeptical about what the government can do that's what i love about david brooks he has these attitudes more and more but because there are elections the republican party is going through a very difficult period of time because they got shellacked in the election year the expected to win even at the last moment, the expected to win the presidency and they also expected to win the control in the u.s. senate and both of those evacuated and they lost of the seats in the house. i believe that there will be a
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difficult process and another round or two of the elections like that and the party will start to wind its way back into the metal and that's not even easy given the constituents just as it isn't easy for democrats today to say you know, we have to tweak both medicare and social security. we have to. we simply can't continue on this trend line and if you do it the right way in both of those areas social security is easier than medicare you can make minor changes in benefits and minor changes more minor and social security and medicare in the revenue and you can make some progress any way but it's hard for the democrats to accept that about the challenges much more difficult for republicans because they have set this for
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so long that it's hard to get off that back when the principal primary challenges are likely to be people who are saying you have compromised too much and that dynamic one of the interesting things about the election as democrats were terrified at the amount of money and as it turned out that money did we more damage to the republican cause than to the democratic party so that's what happened. >> someone over here. >> today and the general assembly the appropriations committee held its third day of consideration of budget matters, a lot of the department heads were testifying such as the community health commissioner and such, and the governor has
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proposed that department reduce by 3% this year and 5% in 2014 and that includes medicaid coverage and such and one thing i noticed no where in the discussion was tobacco use which is the number one preventable cause of disease and death in america responsible for 19% of deaths each year and that 33% of medicaid recipients are smokers and that wasn't mentioned whatsoever. this is a greater burden upon our health care system and such that it wasn't mentioned one time the only time it was mentioned was in the public health department discussion and that was transferring money from the tobacco fund to their own
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part or funding needs. so i would like to know your views on tobacco issues if it should be one of the things brought up in the discussions because it is such a drain upon the united states. about $200 billion worth each year. thank you. >> thank you. >> you know, the tobacco litigation produced a part i forget, several billion dollars. >> to ledger 45 billion. >> the idea is the states were to use that money for anti-smoking advertising. - eight was one of the champions of doing that. we have a new governor now and we are not doing nearly as well but the example you give is a
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classic example of how hard is this for legislative bodies responding to constituents to do any sort of long-term strategic, smart long-term strategic thinking in those areas. there's always the short-term pressures and because they are immediate, they basically get the attention and the long-term cost savings some help get lost not just tobacco. that is a classic case but there was a very large pot of money if the had been used by every state and got some of that to reduce tobacco use we would be in a better place today by far. right here.
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>> what part you think gerrymandering and redistricting lines have to do with this when politicians have to cater to the far end of their party candidate don't have to appeal to the moderates anymore? >> i think that redistricting is a problem. i think it's not a major problem and the reason is this. well, first of all, redistricting is accompanied by something else. the american people are now and have been for some period of time sorting themselves by world view, self-reliance. they've been moving if the had more or less certain kinds of views the move to read states and of the of different views the move to blue states. they even picked out communities where they feel comfortable. this is kind of what we are doing. so the gerrymandering, the redistricting drives me crazy
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when california adopted this bipartisan commission to do it i cheered over my democratic friends in california but at the end of the day you do get more competitive elections i think it is useful and can be deeper, cultural and political trends as a deeper conflict in the american psyche. it's more responsible than gerrymandering and you get pretty much the same kind of politics in the u.s. senate where you can't gerrymandered districts to the state and in the governors' races today. governors represent the entire state. it's not about district sand in the congressional races and in stable joyce lee sifry says it can be a factor in both parties have to be very sophisticated that choosing their voters instead of having their voters
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to choose them and so i believe generally in bipartisan commissions i would like to see it all done by separate commissions and review the judicial review rather then have it to be done by the state legislature's and have it done only once in a decade. >> that's just plays tennis and transparent. to do that once after the census comes and you try to redistrict again and it's pretty clear that this through the partisan purposes that are beyond the bounds of what is there in the democracy like ours. >> it seems the polarization by which you spoke intensifies and
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accelerated after the 2000 presidential election. it seems to some extent there was a perception that maybe the bush folks stole the 2000 election because i was a situation. do you think that had some role in the intensification of the rhetoric? >> there's a series of events that have led up to it. if you look at the book by tom mann and norm koren steam hopefully the title does even worse than it looks, they are two of the most respected observers in congress and the country. norma works through the american enterprise institute, he's a republican, and tom works at the brookings as a democrat they've been collaborating with them for 30 to 40 years, and they
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basically say a lot changed when new gingrich came to congress in 1978 and he was part of a group along with cheney and others who came to congress, and norm borkenstein and tom had just started project of interviewing the incoming freshmen, the selective groups to follow them through and they both right and the book that gingrich was the only one that had a coherent plan as a first-year member of congress and that plan was essentially the republicans had to take back the control of the house buy basically attacking the house itself as a corrupt institution and the would be the only way that republicans could get control. so you have that sort of measure. you have frankly things before
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1994 when the republicans took control of those leaders years the democrats were basically doing some things in terms of the procedure on the house floor that they would tell you now are over the edge basically making of the minority not as the voice that it's had in the past and that is when new gingrich came and led them to victory in 1994 you had an intensification of the conflict that's when it became a partisan issue because that is when the business started lining up more and then the environmental groups lined up and became split as it had in the past to read some there was the clinton impeachment. you can go up both sides and see there is a back-and-forth but i
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argue in this book is like gerrymandering you did this to me, i'm going to get you. but it's not as deep or else important as this inability in the 21st century for us to keep in balance these two parts of the american psyche, and i think all of i don't try to deal with this, i do believe that the anxiety that comes in this work force a long period of stagnation for the middle class has a lot to do with why people are receptive to an argument that there are makers and takers and people that are basically taking things from the government that they don't deserve and in the 2012 election that happened was the explicit contrast between self-reliance and better to get there and that is one thing i was going to say
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in the obama speech is if you look at that speech, that is a solidly a continuation of the campaign theme. this is a complicated world. we are better together, we have big challenges but we have to stick together. if you go back and read george bush's inaugural in 2005 which was liberty and freedom and terrorism sprinkled through the whole speech and one of which he said he wanted an ownership face of what you are offering is in your own, this kind of plea back and forth. then the first inaugural which i think it's kind of fuzzy and then you look at this one and this is what our challenges are. and i think that that is the
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difference between bush and 05 and obama in 2013 is astonishing the difference in the themes and the kind of condition of the world is just astonishing. and i would offer those for sort of a bookend of at least the rhetorical differences between the two competing world views. >> right here, you had a question. >> i downloaded on how netflix west wing to watch during the inauguration time because i thought would be interesting. and i found it incredibly depressing. right in the past week they've dealt with gun control, health care, a gay-rights and funding for education. >> and they got it all done? >> with no success whatsoever. one of the things they've repeatedly stated, which obama actually said was we have to
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raise the level of public d date and let it be the legacy that we are raising the debate. do you feel looking at the next year's do you feel hopeful, do you feel like we are fighting the same? >> there's a reason why we didn't write a chapter on gun control because that is so central to the image of what it is to be an american. it's an up in a romanian up their everybody has guns. you try to persuade anybody
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there that gun control works i think it is a different thing, it is the inability to stand across the aisle. the second thing is the slippery slope argument on both sides. slippery slope ordinance i hate because it means it suggests that, you know, nothing can ever be done. but i do have some hope and the reason i have some hope is i think that by and large no trend continues forever and i think this election was more important in terms of the future than obama's first election because this one is more clearly sorting out these two competing views of the 21st century is all about and i think that we are we to make some progress not as much as we wanted and we will make
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more if we figure out how to talk across the gap if we have a real conversation about individualism and community in american life so we understand each other better and then maybe just maybe we will wind up with a more pragmatic politics with a greater duty to a greater commitment to the common good and those are the last two words in the book. [applause]
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the united states is the first country to approve the merger with of the review still in progress in europe and in canada. the publishers say they expect it to be closed later this year to get according to the u.s. census bureau book sales for 2012 decreased by .5% as the smallest decline in years.
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the report book sales were up $15.21 billion last year which is slightly less than 15.28 billion in sales recorded in 2011. steve to date on breaking news about authors, books and publishers by liking as on facebook at facebook.com/booktv or follow-on to utter at book tv. you can also visit our web site, booktv.org and click on like books. >> here is where the story starts to get interesting and the kind of use each other. i'm just giving you the basic. petraeus is sent off to fort leavenworth. a lot of people in the army didn't really like petraeus. they don't like officers that are too bookish or stood out and petraeus was guilty on both accounts. so he is sent to fort leavenworth kansas and a lot of
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people are thinking that's a great. sending him out to the pastor literally. but he gets to fort leavenworth and realizes something. he realizes this is actually the intellectual center of the army, the doctrine. they form the curriculum at the commanding general staff college. they organize the national training centers and they do a loop to all of these together, the lesson from what effect the lessons of the other which affect the pattern of the next and he says to himself as he is learning all of this what kind of powers to potentially has and she says lee qalqilya and he says things like a, holy cow, jeepers, super. he said holy cow they put an insurgent in the change. he's reduced himself as an insurgent. now, meanwhile, there are a lot of meanwhiles in this book. meanwhile there is a professor of the school of advanced
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international studies in washington, d.c., a military historian also a leading neoconservative he was one of the people signing petitions but we have to invade iraq and over for saddam who by force. he's also a member of the defense policy advisory board. so he goes over to iraq to look at what is going on and is the only member that goes there and he sees that as a disaster. there's an insurgency now and nobody knows what to do about it. now, he comes back through really upset because again, they are feeling the kind of pains of guilt because she was advising this administration. he advocated for the war. his son who like can graduate from harvard had recently joined the army and was going to be sent to iraq. he was going to be sent into this mess that he sort of helped create. so he thinks he has to do something about this so she sets up a seminar in the harbor in
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vermont to date he goes prudhoe rolodex and military journals and he invites everybody that he can find who has written anything remotely interesting about the subject of counterinsurgency warfare and he comes up with about 30 people and they all assemble in the basin harbor for five days to discuss these things. the pivotal thing about this meeting isn't so much what they discussed as they met. most of these people didn't know each other before. they didn't know of one another's existence. they thought they were out on a limb just writing stuff that nobody was going to read that was away against what was going on in the mainstream army to read a lot of these people were junior officers, some of them were mid-level officials or think-tank and they realized they form the community and they might be able to do something if they work to get there. so they come away from the basin harbor with a great sense of
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mission. meanwhile petraeus knows a lot of these people at the conference, some them were his students or colleagues are people who had been under his command and he decides one thing he's going to do in leavenworth is right and new counter insurgency field manual for the army. there hadn't been one for 20 years and he draws on the group from the basin harbor conference to his center circle to be the aide, to be the people that helped him write this conference whether it is outside of the usual doctrine channels within the army. so four things happened at the end of 2006. one, there was the mid election, the democrats when, bush hires robert gates. number two, it is announced that petraeus will be going back to
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iraq as the top commander. number three, bush announces that he is ordering a surge of troops in iraq and number four that he's changed the strategy to the essentially a counter insurgency strategy to it calls it an old phrase the idea that you clear the area of insurgents and stay there you don't turn it over to the iraqi right away. then you help build an infrastructure, help the government provide basic services and build trust with the community and build a security structure. so these things didn't happen by coincidence. it was all part of this plot and by the way, when i use the word plot, i generally am not a conspiracy guy, but these people refer to themselves as a plot. they call themselves the west point mafia because a lot of
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them came out of the social science department at west point which of them in the tradition was forming networks and then among their own graduates so this was preconscious and for example, all of this happened not by coincidence, but for example petraeus when he was in leavenworth he wasn't just sitting in leavenworth, she had a network of old colleagues for the pentagon bureaucracy he's reaching out to them he cultivates this woman in the white house named megan sullivan whose president bush's chief adviser on iraq and the national security council. he sees that she is kind of labor and on the existing policy and cultivates. he's a three-star general from fort leave